Jeff Ross founded the San Francisco Independent Film Festival 14 years ago as a way to give his friend Rand Alexander a place in town to show his movie Caged. What started as a four-day event now lasts two weeks. It has more than 80 films, including horror movies, documentaries, love stories, comedies, and shorts. It opens tonight (Thursday, Feb. 9) at the Roxie Theater. After the movies, you can hang out with filmmakers, maybe at the roller disco party, or dressed as your favorite Big Lebowski character. The festival opens with Abel Ferrara's 4:44 Last Day on Earth. Ferrara and Shanyn Leigh (who stars with Willem Defoe) plan to attend.
Ross took a break from planning to talk to us about showing a non-cheesy romantic comedy, how putting together a festival is like curating an art show, and the importance of shared experience.